California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is facing a new complaint about an obscure fundraising tactic that rakes in thousands from state politicians in exchange for being listed on her slate mailers — this time, involving supporters of a former Los Angeles mayor defeated in the June gubernatorial primary.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Waters, her campaign and a pro-charter school group called Families and Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa — which backed the former Democratic mayor of Los Angeles.
The pro-Villaraigosa group paid $25,000 to the Citizens for Waters Committee on May 25 to include Villaraigosa in her slate mailer, according to the complaint. FEC guidelines, however, say only a candidate’s committee can pay for the mailers — sample ballots traditionally mailed out to about 200,000 voters in Los Angeles highlighting whom Waters supports.
Waters’ mailers have faced scrutiny since 2010 because the campaign, since 2004, has paid her daughter Karen Waters, or her public relations firm Progressive Connections, to produce, print and mail the sample ballots.